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The Commercial-Theological
Terms in the Koran



PRES E N T E J) F ( ) R T II E 1 ) E G REE F



MAY 7"'. -1892.

LEYD EN. - E. J. Dill],


/*-yn J^-^








MAY 7th, 1892.

Printed by E. J. Brill, Leiden.




Bd. = Beidawi's Koran Commentary.

Bokh. =z el-Bokhari , Recueil des traditions mahometanes

ed. Krehl.

Gel. Tefsir el-Gelalain , Koran Commentary of el-

Mahalli and es-Suyuti.

Kash. = el-Kashshaf , Koran Commentary of ez-Zamakh-


Nes. = Koran Commentary of c Omar en-Nesfi. Ms. frag-

ment in the Berlin R. Library, embracing Sur.
13 : 46. (Manuscr. Orient, (folio) 41 ; Ahl-
wardt, N. 767.)

(The numerous additions by the hand of my honored

teacher, Professor Noldeke , I have generally indicated
by the letter N.)
The subject of the present essay was suggested by a re-

mark of Prof. August Miiller's, in his "Der Islam im Mor-

gen- und Abendland", I. 191 *), in which he intimates that
such expressions as the "bankruptcy" of the last day, oc-
curring in the Koran , are an outgrowth of Mohammed's life

as a Mekkan merchant. It is a familiar fact that the theolog-

ical terminology of the Koran contains a number of words

which are primarily used to express some commercial re-
lation. Every man will at last be confronted with his " reck-
oning" (^L*.^); unbelievers are "the losers" (^yJ^-)] Allah
"buys" the service of his people (^J^^ *.** I ^-X-^it);
every soul is "held as security" (<j^ ; ) for its debts; and so
on. The variety of these expressions and the frequency with
which they recur may perhaps entitle them to consideration
as a class by themselves. Whether they belong to a phase

of Mohammed's personal history or not, they can hardly

fail to reflect, to some extent, his way of thinking. It is

the object of the present paper to collect and arrange these

terms and the passages in which they occur, in the hope
of throwing thereby some additional light on Mohammed's
own conception of the religion whose prophet he was.

1) "Immerhin kaim der Muslim dessen gewiss sein, .. . dass er, wenn sein
Conto nicht allzuschwer belastet gefunden wird, hoffen darf, dem 'Banke-
rott' wie Mohammed als alter mekkanischer Kaufmann den Zusammen-
bruch alles irdischen Unrechts beim jiingsten Gericbt genannt bat im
Jenseits zu entgeben".


The Koran manifests everywhere a lively interest in mat-

ters of trade. Sur. 106 (one of the oldest) might well be

the word of a tradesman to his fellows, calling on them to

recognize the goodness of Allah in prospering their winter

and summer caravans. Cf. with this such passages as 16 :

113, and 34: 14, 17, 18. Some passages are filled with the
sounds of busy merchant life, as 62 : 9 11, or constantly

suggest an origin in such surroundings, as for example Sur.

16 (vs. 7, "the beasts of burden... which carry your loads
into far-off lands"; vs. 14, "the ships, which further com-
merce"; vs. 16, "the stars, which serve as guides"). The ad-
miration, almost amounting to veneration, with which Mo-
hammed speaks of the ship (tikis) as a vehicle of trade, is

striking. Notice, for example, what a prominent place it

occupies in the passages which enumerate the chief wonders

(obi) of God's creation, such as 2:159, 14:37. Beside
these passages there are no less than ten others in which
the iiUi is mentioned as a chief blessing to man *).

It is more than once implied that trade is the most in-

teresting of all pursuits. This, sooner than anything else,

would be likely to distract attention from religious matters.

24: 37, jJM jJ* a-c o % '*Jlj? ,-*$' ^ JL^. Cf.

62 : 9 , 9 : 24.

The practical legislation of the Koran is often concerning

business transactions ,
public or private ; e. g. 2 : 282 , the
passages concerning usury (y^), and so on.

The fact that Mohammed expressly permitted trade during

the pilgrimage ) (2 : 194) is striking proof of his interest
in it and appreciation of its importance.

1) ie : 14, 17:68, 23:64, 33:22, 30 : 45 , 31:30, 35:13,

40 : 80, 43 : 11, 4.5 : 11. (One could almost believe, after reading
lO : 23 , that Mohammed had himself been to sea !)

2) Cf. Bd. (com. to the passage mentioned); Bokh. II. 5, 16.

A large part of the moral precepts of the Koran proceed

evidently from the same standpoint. The direct exhortation

to fairness in bargaining is not uncommon: ^j&l^ d*^ !>^

ia-^JiJL, 6 : 153, 1* : 37, 55 : 7, 8, cf. 5* : 25; cf. also

IS : 59, 88, in which we hear the prophet's own words,

and 9 : 83, 11 : 85, 86, 26:1813, where we are
evidently shown, in the preaching of Sho aib, one phase of
Mohammed's own mission. No form of sin is more fiercely

attacked than that of unfair dealing. The invective against

those who give short weight jJ>Alai\) in

83 19, : reminds

of the Old Testament prophets.

But it is when we come to the theology of the Koran

that the business atmosphere shows itself most plainly and
characteristically. On almost every page we meet with such
expressions as that noticed by Prof. Miiller; words elsewhere
used to express some familiar commercial idea, here trans-
ferred to the relations between God and man. (See list, p. 8.)

These words, belonging to some twenty different stems,

occur in the Koran about 370 times, thus averaging more
than one to the page of Fliigel's edition (after making al-

lowance for space occupied by chapter-headings, &c). Of the

first 50 Suras, only four (1, 43, 44, 50) do not contain
one or another of them. They are not merely repetitions;
their use exhibits considerable variety, both of form and of
theological application.
Moreover, they are almost without exception native words,
not acquired from other languages. We are accustomed to
the idea of borrowing, in Arab theology, even before the
time of Mohammed. The language of religion and worship
contains a large number of loan-words , especially of Jewish
origin. But the words we are considering express familiar,
every-day ideas, and form a group notably free from foreign
elements ).

The presence of such a large number of trade-terms, thus

used, in such a book as the Koran, is very noticeable. They
impart a certain commercial tone to the whole. The fact

cannot be without significance.

How far Mohammed himself may have been responsible
for the creation of these theological terms, as such, is an
interesting question, although one hardly admitting of a
decisive answer. It would be more natural, perhaps, in want
of certain proof, to regard them as the contribution of the
prophet himself, a new nomenclature new re-
for the
ligion, and further, as a reflection of his own former
experience as a merchant. But, as we shall see, the way
in which he uses them makes a somewhat different impres-

sion; moreover, we have more than one reason for believing

that this use of mercantile terms to express theological facts

and what is more , of the same terms to express the same
facts was common among the Arabs before his time.

Mohammed belonged to a tribe and a city which had been

for generations identified with commerce. They had a relig-

ious cultus that had grown up side by side with their mate-
rial prosperity, and was so closely connected with it that one
generally finds it difficult to separate the two. The origin

of the city Mekka, so far as anything is certainly known

concerning it, is to be looked for in the caravan trade pass-
ing through the Higaz. The Ka ba and
its worship, even
if they did not originate in the conditions of this traffic, had
at any rate from the first a very close connection with it.

(Miiller, Islam, I. 30 sq.; Muir, Life of M., I. 214 sq.) It

is perhaps as natural to suppose that the "sacred territory"

and the "sacred months" were instituted for purposes of

1) Loan-words of such long standing as JM-^F and uU&* (Fraenkel,

Lehnworter, 181, 202) may of course be regarded, for all our present pur-

poses , as truly Arabic.

trade and in consequence of it, as to regard them merely
as the occasion of it. For the long duration of the sacred
period (four months!) any other satisfactory explanation is

hard to imagine. At the time of Mohammed, the regular

pilgrimages were inseparable from the greal fairs, and this
was the case not only in the neighborhood of Mekka, but
also in many other parts of Arabia. (Wellhausen, Skizzen
und Vorarbeiten, III. 72, 82.) This universal barter at the
yearly markets was a necessity to the people. They lived,

in a measure, from it. Bd,, to 2:194, y3 5 Xa^j JblXc ^

*gAjlfeo c^o^ *pi^ (^Jj-.-o Lgi^+Jb '*Jl0lJL J, f$y\ J^F^
^Ji >Xa lyt$\3 *^L/^t 4i> Uii L^JU. It could not well have

existed without the sacred territory and the sacred months.

"Die Markte scheinen iiberhaupt an heiligen Statten, und
immer zur heiligen Zeit, gehalten zu sein" (Wellhausen, ibid.,

III. 83, note). It may reasonably be doubted whether the

sacred places or the sacred period ever existed without such
trade. At all events , even if these fairs were not originally
the main thing, they must have grown to be ), and this

fact is sufficient for our purpose. Long before the time of

Mohammed, the native gods and religious rites must have
been pretty thoroughly identified with trade. The Arabs have
at all times deserved their reputation as a preeminently
realistic, mathematical people, and this might well have been
especially true of the Koreish. So far as they troubled them-
selves about theological and religious facts (on the average
very little ,
probably) , we might expect them to employ just
such terms as these under discussion.
Further proof is furnished by certain passages occurring
in pre-Mohammedan poems, which will be cited in the
following pages.

1) Wellh.., ibid., asserts this for some of them; Snouck Hurgronje, Het
Mekkaansche Feest, 18, 64, 179 sq., still more positively.

It is of course not necessary to suppose that all the ideas

which received this most characteristic Arabic dress were
themselves originally Arabic. Ideas borrowed from Jews or
Christians, especially such ideas as were of a general char-
acter, might readily be adopted into this usage *). In so
far as Mohammed's theological conceptions were an advance
over those of his forefathers , so far would it be natural for
him to extend the existing terminology (unconsciously, of
course!) along the same familiar lines.

In a word, this clothing of theology in the language of

trade is less characteristic of Mohammed than of his people.
When once we regard it as a necessary growth out of the
conditions of Arab life, the question of Mohammed's own
experiences as a merchant loses very much of its importance
for our present purposes.

In the following pages I have endeavored to bring together

the Koran passages in which Mohammed employs current
commercial terms in a theological signification. This nat-
urally involves some raking over of dry bones. With
the words and passages which exhibit actual business trans-
actions, often very interesting in themselves, we are not
now concerned , except in so far as they may serve to throw
light on the figurative use. I have arranged these terms in
groups which seemed to me convenient, and have cited the
passages in varying order, partly for the sake of clearness,
and partly to avoid monotony.
An asterisk signifies that every passage in which the
word occurs has been cited.

I have called these terms theological ", but it must be

evident from the outset that many of them, regarded by

1) Zumal die Anschauung, dass frommes Denken und Thun das beste
Geschaft sei, dass Gott pro rata belohne u. s. w., iiberhaupt echt semitisck

ist und im Judenthum einen brciten Raum einnimmt. (N.)

themselves, play only a very obscure role in the Koran
theology. It is when they are taken together and considered

in connection with one another that they are of importance.

This fact should be kept constantly in mind. It hardly needs

to be said that in calling this a list of trade-terms, the
word "trade" is taken in its more extended meaning.
In the various utterances ascribed to Mohammed , recorded
by Bokhari, Ibn Hisham and others, these same expressions
not infrequently occur. These are as a rule mere repetitions
from the Koran, and add little of interest, so far as I have

observed them.

On the other hand, Bokhari's tradition-collection, especial-

ly the chapters cy-x-j-JI, JuJ*, s.l>^l, (jLSuOII, &c, gives

constant and often very interesting illustration of Moham-
med's attitude towards trade and business transactions of
various kinds, as well as of his use of these particular terms
in their literal sense.

Wherever it was possible , I have accompanied the Koran

passages with corresponding citations from the Old and New
Testaments, rather for the purpose of contrasting than with
any idea of drawing a parallel. Commercial-theological terms
appear, to be sure, and in considerable number and variety,
though the number of their occurrence in either 0. T.
or N. T. is proportionally very much smaller than in the
Koran. But the wide difference lies not so much in the
frequency or infrequency of their occurrence as in the man-
ner of their use. In the Biblical writings (0. T. and N. T.
are alike in this respect), such expressions are used as oc-
casional figures of speech, as commonly in other writings.

In the Koran , on the contrary , they are generally not tropes

introduced to adorn certain facts, but terms regularly em-
ployed to state the bare and blunt facts themsehes. The
bulk of theological teaching, in certain departments, is carried
by these expressions, and they usually appear in the same

simple mathematical form. In this respect , the Koran is unique.

All this will appear more plainly, I hope, as the pas-
sages are cited.


Reckoning Buying and

Payment, Loss; Loans;
Weights and Selling
Wages. Fraud. Security.
Measures. Profit.




Reckoning; Weights and Measures.

Allah is in standing account with every man. Each good

work is counted in man's favor, each bad deed is a debt.
This reckoning is generally allowed to run during man's
lifetime, but must at last be settled, by full payment of
all balances. This fact of the final settlement was upper-

most in Mohammed's mind at the time he began his public

ministry. All other facts were of minor significance in com-

s-jLwJL l
) , the personal account between Grod and man
or oftener the settlement of the account, appears in the ear-
liest Suras. In fact it might be called in a certain sense
characteristic of them, not only because it appears relatively
oftener, but also because it appears then in its greatest vigor,
and lends a distinct color to the whole opening period ).

Each man will be confronted with a written statement of

his personal account (aub^) at the last day: 69 : 13 29,
vi^JJib '\ <jobtf'
~C f
*jL^ jyus *+*+** *4^> SJ cr ^
*woL*o ^^.wo j^Ji (v. 19, 20); aJUAj \-jU^ jy ^y> Lo^

\^jL^> Lo .iM A < auoU*' Ojf jJ (^J^i li Jjus (v. 25, 26).

The counterpart of this passage is 84: 1 15, j^f ^ Lob

Ly*o LjLv^> i^^uwl^u u3yi < xix^Aj auUS' (v. 7 , 8).

The idea of the book (i-A-zLO) in which the account is

kept might well have been borrowed, in the first instance,

from Jewish or Christian sources. Cf. Q^*ipJ *]]Q, Dan. XII.

1, 2, Rev. XX. 12. The general fact of a written reckoning,

^jIslXJ' 3 c^-a-a/o vjLwo ), bill of sale, &c, was of course
familiar enough among the Arabs. At any rate, the idea of
a divine book of reckoning was commoD even before Moham-

1) Vgl.u.A.PirqeAboth3:l,|nETri
P |rf? Tiiy iDtf ^ "OD^I- (N.)
2) In speaking of the "periods" of the Koran, referring to the date of
particular passages, &c., I follow the division given in Noldeke's "Geschichte
des Qorans".
3) Noldeke, Beitrage, 186: 10.

med's time , as the following verses from Zuhair show (Mo c


27, 28) *):

jJjij allf |*.X^=.j L^-^oj j^a^ui

The parallel here with the Koran is striking.

Beside the above passages cf. (for "the book") 17 : 15,

45:27, 28, 31:94, 18:47, 34:3, 10:62; also such

passages as 9: 121, 122, <$J

r>utf'; 36: 11, \yS&
v Lo w*a&,&c.

78 : 27 (speaking of the idolatrous Mekkans), t^il*' *.^ii

bl**> o^f- ^ *^ e P assa g e occurring in a Sura whose gen-

eral character is much like that of the two above mentioned,
though much more detailed in its description of the torments
and delights of the future state. From this time on there
are no more such vivid pictures of the "reckoning" at the
last day ). In Iff : 14, 15, the scene is recalled for a
moment, and man is represented as pronouncing his own
sentence from the columns of the account book: dJuOf \ji\

Loyw.^ t^ywJLc j*-a-N i2\.**ft>o J6 '.

In the opening words of

Sur. 21 we see the idea still in its oldtime vigor, L-yJC-it

1) Ed. Arnold. Of course the precise form of words may have been af-

fected by Mohammedan influences ; the genuineness of these verses as a whole

is however very well attested.

2) A comparison of $9 : 13 29 with the "Dies Irae" is not uninterest-

ing. Even the "Teste David cum Sibylla" is not without its counterpart,

if one is willing to go back to the 4th verse, Xfi.lftJu Olcj u>j.4.!i c>Jl\j !

These are just such ideas as M. might have got from some Christian hermit
who had wandered off into the desert to wait for the crash of eternity.

The use in 88 : 26 is more general, 2bL*o UaIc ^J *3;

cf. 23 : 117, 26 : 113, 6 : 52 , 68, 13 : 40, where the idea

is the same. It belongs to Allah alone to reckon the account;
even the prophet may not do it. Each man's account stands
for itself, nor is any man concerned with any reckoning
but his own. (6 : 52).

A similar idea is contained in the expression aUL ^c-s^

\1#j> 33 : 39; 21 : 48 (( x ^^L^ Ijo ^); cf. 1? : 15.

God may demand the settlement of the account at any

time (cf. 65:8, e. g.), but v_jL*JL, standing by itself, refers

always to the last day. Mohammed occasionally employs the

expression ^LwJL *o (which same expression we have seen
used by Zuhair in the passage quoted above). Thus, 38:15,

25, 53, l\j>\.w v^lX-c ^J a)Jt

S** M q-c q^* 52 ^ n" ^
, t

V^ |^-J ^ U. (v. 25); 40:28, cjUJL pyu ^ 3;

14 : 42 , *-jI**JL yli **j. In all these , the term is hardly

more than equivalent to &oLJiit **.

Somewhat more pointed is the use in 13 : 18, 21, \Si)\

v^LmJL sy ^J; 65 : 8 (where, however, the reference is to

the "terrible reckoning" paid in time past, by the wicked

nations) ; 2 : 284 ,
^X^l^u *y&S } f>A$ & U JjJuj ,..!,

Z^ ^S J^C X&\) *Lm*J ^yO ^uX-X-J^ L&J q-*J j*a9 aM \J

jrjt\JJ ; where the latter part of the verse teJf ^.sJLaj) adds

the very significant fact that the final treatment of the

"reckoning" is after all arbitrary with Allah!

In 24 : 39 , J^> sly ,
^L*^ is practically equivalent
to *lj>. Cf. 78 : 36.

Allah is of course the readiest of all reckoners. He not

1) Gel. has f ^ J.f ^*a^\A.


only keeps each man's account with the greatest exactness,

in preparation for the day of judgment *), but is ready at
any moment to confront believer or unbeliever with his
standing. As this is an idea that would often recur, and
one, moreover, capable of more than one application, it is

natural that Mohammed should employ v-jL^-il. &.*-< as a

convenient verse- ending. [Mohammed has a number of fa-
vorite expressions which he repeatedly uses especially , in the

later Suras, in order to build the rhyme at the end of the

verse. Among these are some of the trade terms we are
considering. Such, when they occur often enough to be
noticeable, I have designated as "stock expressions", and
shall occasionally refer to them by that name. It is evident
that by such use the original force of the expression is often

E.g., 14:51, all! ^ ^,^

U y^-si fc aW tij-^jJ

V UJ! Wj-**; also 13 : 41, 4 : 17, 2 : 198, 3 : 17, 199,

5:6, 24 : 39. Once ^k^jJL jJ , 6 : 62.

t>lw^ is made to do duty in another "stock" expression,

viz. v L-w._> ^Jb; 39 : 13 2
), 4 ; 43, 2 : 208, 3 : 26, 32,
24 : 38; in every case except the first in the same set

phrase s-jL*:*- -jJm

oi^-- Notice that in these examples
the word i_jL*.s> is used in a different sense from the pre-
ceding. Bd., to 2 : 208, jj&SS m; Gel., to 24 : 38, JLSj

Cf. also 38 : 38.

For other examples of the use of v-^.^> see 4 : 88, 55 :

cited below under .-Aa>.

i)Jl\j, Gel. to 3:198. Cf. Kash. to 40 : 17.

2) Cf. 68:3, &c. See under y>*.


A later use of y.w.>, springing from the Koran use, is

instructive. w*_*wJL.^-i is not infrequently employed by the

historians in the signification (" he did a thing) in the service

of God" (*l)t &>jJ); originally, of course, "counting on the

future reward" fjl). Thus, Beladhuri 107, ^UJt

*Lbj ^.^X^ (jn-j q+ A.JI, i. e., "either from religious zeal
or from desire of worldly gain". Cf. p. 108. Or governing
o i
a direct object, as in Bel. 309, JLiLs *-$-** *** vtffe&jeU

^^5 Lg.j ^j; ^lXJI aW lXac Lg.A-***..X-:>J *). Students of

theology are called *JlH o!3 q^^, i. e., devoting them-
selves to this study in order to win the future reward!
(Dozy, Suppl.)
According to the traditions, this use can be traced to
Mohammed himself 2
). Thus, Bokh. I. 22 sq., III. 485, jl5

a! ovjtf 1$****^. _^_^5 x\& ^_c aai jmi o&if f3i ^-^
2_Sl\-.o; and the phrase IjIw^^L, LiL^-j, id. I. 17:4, 13;
20 : 7. Cf. also the passage cited from Zamakhshari, in

Beladh., Gloss., s. v. ,
^a b *_Jl_ef \y^s>) (jJjlJl Ifcij L

**>.**.> _>^ xLp _>l *)

v^ *-^ v****^* (See Bel., Gl.,

and authorities cited there, for further illustration.)

In the Old Testament there is hardly a trace of the idea

expressed in the Koran by u-jLm*-^.]!. Even the notion of

O - o

1) &*..**}Ls>) , "finde dich (um Gottes Willen) in seinen Tod", Kamil

634: 18, und ahnlich otter, sodass rA-w^:>> zuletzt einfach die Bedeutung

annimmt "sich fasseii". (N.) Cf. further Dozy Suppl. s. v. , ,

2) But in such matters the traditions are not trustworthy. Professor Nol-

deke refers especially to Goldziher's recent proof that the term l\-a--w ,

ascommonly used for those who fall in fighting for Islam, arose later than
Mohammed's time, although it occurs in the Hadith.

judgment generally concerns nations rather than individuals,

and is limited, with one or two exceptions, to this life. In
the New Testament, the last day is conceived as a day of
judgment (yftipx Kpivsut; , \.l+w jLLoo..*) Matt. XII. 36) rather
than as a day of reckoning 1
). It resembles the -jLmJL *o
only after the entire omission of the mathematical "reckon-
ing", "weighing", "payment", &c, so essential to Moham-
med's conception. The idea of God's keeping a running ac-
count of man's deeds is foreign to both 0. T. and N. T.
For the nearest approach to the Koran standpoint, cf.

the following: Matt. XII. 36, Asyoo Vs v(jliv oti ttxv ptjfAx

xpyov o hxXfoovviv ol xv&pccttoi , xnctiuGovviv irep) xutou

Koyov iv vj&epq, xpiveoog. II Cor. V. 10, Rom. XIV. 12,
I Pet. IV. 5. In Gen. XV. 6 (Rom. IV. 3, Gal. III. 6) the
resemblance is only verbal.
The "book of life" (Q^j"} 1DD) is not tnou g nt of as an
account book. It plays, furthermore, a very insignificant
role in the Scriptures. The two chief passages , Dan. XII. 1, 2,

Rev. XX. 12, are interesting as compared with the Koran.

naaa mro vasam bi -py b& kvot njai

rfew nby *rb nbx nrp^ nay n&iN ytfe avm
Q^iy iiiO'ib moinb- ~~ K ^ e ^ v t ^ vsxpovg, wis
[JisyocKovg not.) robs ftixpcuc ,
e(TTUTx<; ivumov tov Qpovov, xx)

/3//3a/# Yivoi%Qv)<F<x,v ' xx) xKKo @i@Xiov vjvoi%Q*i , o ivTiv tvis

%ooyq ' xx) ixpiQyvxv ol vexpo) ix tuv ysypxpfASvoov iv Tolq

/3//3a/o/$ xxtx tx tpyx xutuv.

L5 AO&>

The most general of all the "mercantile" ideas, that of

counting , calculating , is frequently predicated of Allah, some-

1) So sind auch Dan. VII. 10 die p^DD a ^ s "Gerichtsacten" zu verste-

hen. (N.)

times in connection with the vjL**.>, sometimes by itself.

The use in the latter case is often instructive.

.-Aar> is used for the reckoning, or entering, of the ac-

count in the book: 78:29, UjS UxAa>l ^^ JJ^; 36:11,

^ Jk-*^ fjfi} I^-alX-S lo wO&j ,^-Jjii ^*^ CT^"3 ^*

^^/o *U aLXxAa>l. Gel. paraphrases in these passages by

Ukwto. Bd., to 78:29, has *La^fl Ji Ux^^ ;Juw [LU^]

ix^l ^jm ,3 qI^UJo au^G^. 18 : 47 , Jc\-0 JU UxL 5 L

L<2>La:>l <$l
g^ ^5 syjbo ^Ub ^ v^^ 1
5 58 : 7 ,

In 72:28, biXc ^^ j^ ^yo^ ^JJ L*-J -bL>i>,

the expression is used in a more general sense, as one of
the attributes of Allah, who "keeps account of all things".
Similarly , 19 : 94.

Cf. with this the use of ^-^> in 4L : 88, W all!


(cf. 73 :20, ^a*k? ^).

A similar idea is contained in the use of .l\Jj ,
qj 5 , in

the following examples: 13: 9, JO&*. jkXJLc ^^ Jiy, 73:

20, ^l3 Jyjfl

J^.JLj aM3 ; 15: 19, O5j^o *yfc j^ ^
Mohammed's idea of God, as shown us in the Koran, is in
its main features a somewhat magnified and idealized picture
of a Mekkan merchant. It could hardly have been otherwise.

Among the "99 names of God" 2

) are ^Aa-^JI and u^*JL.

1) Hariri, Dur., 182.

2) Given, e.g., in Gel. to 17:110.

Cf. with 13 : 9, &c, Is. XL. 12, Q^Q l^J?ttf3 T|Q 1Q

Dywaa rnsoxi onn; Job xxxvm. 37, 5, xxvm, 25.

Jjs, ui*

Side by side with the idea of the book of reckoning

stood in Mohammed's mind a vivid picture of the vjLkJS. *y
as a day when all men's actions shall be weighed , and judg-
ment apportioned according to the values thus determined.
This is one of the ideas characteristic of the earlier pe-
riod of Mohammed's preaching, when all his thought centred
about the day of judgment. 11 : 5, 6 (speaking of the
fearful day when "men will be like butterflies scattered by
the wind, and the mountains like colored wool picked to

pieces "), ^j% LqJj < &wto^ X^xc 3 _^i *Ju:L-/o c^.US q< Lob

j 5 1 m\ *ju;L-* ,^*&>. This is repeated almost verbatim,

but with a characteristic alteration, in 23 : 104, 105, 7:7, 8,

^yCj ^UaI> ^ ^J^jlj *A^jyQ c^^ ^ vjiil <A**jJ Q)^

*.A*ail !,-.**.:> ^y.t\i5 i^j^li &>u:Jyo c>.&>; where the con-

trasted ^daii and ***&} fj_**-P" ^-jxJt, so familiar in

later Suras, replace the more vigorous terms of the first

example. Each man's deeds, then his only merchandise, are

put into the pan of the balance, and (as in the^reckoning
of the book) each will be credited with his exact due, even

to the "weight of an ant". All is done on the strictest

w O _ O
business principles. J^jw ^3 <s.j La> B><5 JUi^ i}***1 q-^

-j L& 8*<3 JlaJU , 99 : 7, 8 ; or , somewhat more specifically

stated, 21 :48, JJki ^Lj aLrfLaJt ^J Ja*ajI ^Jj'^t' j*^

O _ w OS-
^k^b-. Cf. 31:15, 4:44, 34:3 (^a* v Ltf j), lO : 62 2

Hence the expression 18:105, li;

5 SCcLJiJ! *ij *gj *.*& ^li.

Weights and measures proceed from Allah. The balances

are his institution. His own dealings with men are the stand-

ard of exact justice. ^ij$$ oL-^-Ij ^UKJi <Jjit ^A-Ji allf

4L2 : 16; 57 : 25. Bd., <j**j5 ^^ *-j

D;^ ^JJi g^AJi
JAxit ^J (j^UJt ^. 55 : 6 , 7 , 8 , is still more instructive :

Of. with 18 : 105 3

), Dan. V. 27, N1JTND3 ND^pn
Ton nrantfni; Ps -
LXIL 10 ;
Job XXXI -
6 > vbpvh
nan m^N jm pTinjTMpa-
Always a favorite figure of speech. Cf. en-Nabigha, Diw. ),

Fragments j 35:

Payment, Wages.
The Arab was accustomed to the idea that everything
can be paid for. Blood atoned for blood, a captive could be

1) Cf. Matt. XIII, 31, 32.

2) Some of the orthodox Muslim ideas concerning the ii'j-a-/0 and the
weighing at the last judgment are given by Fliigel , "Scha'rani und sein
Werk", Z.D.M. G. XX. 44, 47. [Vgl. auch z. B. Muhammedanische Eschato-
logie, hrsg. von M. Wolff, Leipzig '72, und ad-Dourra al-fakhira ... de Ghazali,

ed. L. Gautier, Geneve '78. (N.)]

3) Professor Diimichen, of the University of Strasburg, kindly informs me

that the balances play an important part in the Egyptian Eschatology from
the earliest times. He refers to Naville, Das aegyptische Todtenbuch, Cap.
125. The comparison is interesting.

4) Ahlwardt's Edition.


ransomed with a certain number of camels, and so on.

Moreover, in religious matters, all scores must be settled.

So far as man's actions concern God, so far must he re-

quite them.

en-Nabigha, Diw., 19 : 17 ). God cannot be cheated, and
must himself, in common fairness, deal honestly. The idea
of payment from God, including punishment and reward, is

naturally very prominent in Mohammed's theology. It is

the most fundamental of the ideas we are discussing, the

groundwork upon which they are built. There is present
together with this idea of exact requital, where every smal-
lest deed is met with its equivalent, also that of wages', a

reward given for service rendered. l\-a_*_3 *)LI but not

without pay !

The words <^y>, s^' , 5, *>* i n their various forms,

play an important part in the Koran from the first. They

are used almost exclusively in the theological sense, and,
with few exceptions, refer to the future life.

It may fairly be taken for granted that most of these

terms, probably all of them, were current in this same fig-

urative use before the time of Mohammed. Of course the idea

was a familiar one in wishes and imprecations ; e. g.:

o o c 5 v y

\JLjtj Jj-Awb ^' all! <^j->

Tabari, I. Series, 851: 15. Cf. Freytag, Prov., I. 280.

1) The poem is pronounced spurious by Ahlwardt. The idea in this verse

is certainly old enough, however. [Das Gedicht als Ganzes ist gewiss echt,
und ich glaube kaum, dass man an 19: 17b Anstoss zu nehmen hat; das
Gedicht ist ja an einen christlichen Fursten gerichtet; der Dichter verkehrte
viel mit Christen. (N.)]

The strict meaning of the verb, "give satisfaction, or

compensation, for [a thing]" (^.a-^), is well illustrated in

2 : 45 (117, 31 : 32), L^A ^ai ^c ^ai ^f? ^ U^j tyiSlj

JtXc Lg.JL^o (A3>^j ^ iCcia^; LgJU J^*ib ^, the figure taken

from ransoming ).

Used literally for paying of wages ( ,>') in 28 : 25

Ui c>^^ l-o r>^ (gJ^jj^UJ. The idea of paying an obligation

n /wW belongs properly to ^j-^-, but is not often kept in
sight. In the usual Koran use it is equivalent to the English
"pay", and is employed for both reward and punishment
somewhat oftener for the latter than for the former. 53 : 32

^a^j^JL \y.**z>\
v**& \Sj&& !*^ U-
5^ qJ^" l5t^>
77 : 44, ^fcjLw.^ L5r^ isUiAS' Lii (used as a sort of refrain

in Sur. 37); 46:24 (^^t); 52:16, ^jS lo

a lj^ Lit

^U*j; 66 : 7 (cf. 37 : 38, 4 : 43 , 4 : 122), an expression

that is very commonly used in speaking of the future lot
of the wicked.
The "paying" may take place in this life (6 147,
: 34: 16, cf.

42 : 19), but in the great majority of instances the reference

is to the final settlement of the account at the ^L*iL *m.

76 : 12, L> 5^** U ^j>s; 14 : 51, 40 : 17; 21 : 30,

*!#> N|^U; 46 : 19, 6 : 93, G^il v ^-1

0f tne Muslim's
reward (^1) , 16 : 98 , 99 , 39 : 36.

As .cXAa^o of (^5j>, used in all of the preceding significa-

tions. The literal meaning "satisfaction", "compensation" (in

1) Cf. Noldeke, Del. Carm. Arab., 110: 1. (Ka'b ibn-Zuhair.)


non-theological sense) , is illustrated in 5 : 42 ,


L^y Lc si^> Ufc>Jut lytLisLs XJ$jL*JI3 ; 12:25, 74, 75,

5 :96; cf. 5 : 37.

Used for the divine recompense in general , whether re-

ward or punishment; 55:60, ^Lvo^l ^ qL*>^M ^L> J^p;

42 : 38, L^JUU iL*I* jtfL, *fj->$5 lO : 28; 2 : 79, *ij> Li

XaLsJt *^_j 5 LolXJ^ ^.xH j c^j-^ ^' (*&-* ^-^ J-**^. o*

Sometimes used for the retribution in this life (as in

9 : 26) , but regularly in speaking of the last day. The ^L>

is properly the payment which is determined by the i>L*o* *).

8 : 26 (punishment of the wicked); 36 (reward of the

righteous); 59:17, 76:22, 3:130, 18:106, 56:23.
In 24= : 39 ujL*> is used in the sense of fp-.

In the 0. T. , God's recompense is generally conceived as

belonging to this life. The idea of requital belongs to every
religious system, and does not necessarily involve any com-
mercial idea. The form of statement is often much the same
as in the Koran. The "payment" is generally expressed by

D;5ft^> which corresponds etymologically with ^-5$, but as

actually used is like <3j> in the Koran.
Thus, - ps. lxii. 13, a^n nna ^ ion ^na *p}
int^yDD >^6; Is - LIX - 18 >
Job XXXIV. 11, Jer. XXV.
14. In a bad sense, Jer. XVI. 18, j-JJttfD riJl&tfiO TlD^ttfl
DnNCOm DJiy> XXXII. 18, Is. LXV. 6, cf. Jer. XVIII.
20. In a good sense, Prov. XIII. 21, Q^h Dp^U DN
ails; xi. 31, neim y&ri "O n^ Q^ P*o P^ ?n;

1) Thus the term ^'j^* j'^j commonly employed to mean "the future

XIII. 13. The substantive Q^# (= * j->)l also appears;

thus, Hos. IX. 7, Q^n ^ IfcQ) cf Is - '

8 -

(wages for work done; in the N. T.), as in Is.

n^VD ] |

XLIX. 4, LXI. 8.

In the N. T. (reward and punishment also in the future

life) I Cor. III. 8,
exxfrroe; 31 rbv Ihcv (*i(r$bv Xvj^stoci
. . .

xxtoc tov Uiov xotov. Eph. VI. 8, Heb. II. 2, X. 30, II

Cor. V. 10, II Pet. II. 13 j-,J; contrast
the Koran
use of *->!); Rom. VI. 23, to, yap otyooviot. rijg x^xprixq

u^..S* and v-jLSJ root-meaning "to give a return ,


pensation, (for a thing)" ((j^c) are used as equivalents

^sf?- 5:88, ^j->
iiU5 5 oll> JjJfc Ls *Jil j^Jft

^JL^^vit; 48:18, 3:147 (Bd. , ^X* L-Lc ....

^b); 83 : 36, o!rJl*aj ^U jl&CJI yj($ JJ>.

The Koran use is like that of f;-:>. The Commentators

generally regard the two as synonyms and use them inter-

changeably. To be sure, ^J]yi is always employed in a good

sense, never to mean punishment; but the fact is perhaps
only accidental , as the word occurs but a few times in the

Koran. Other derivatives of v^S are sometimes employed in

the bad sense; cf. examples just given, and 5:65, below.
Gel. makes a distinction between wj[j3 and ';> in his com.

to 99 : 7, 8, adding after vs. 7 Ju^i', and after vs. 8 $|j>.


It is probable that the two were not clearly distinguished

in Mohammed's mind.

3 : 195, slXJ^c *JJl

5 *J]t cXJLe ^p Lty oU> *.%Kk>S

vl*^ ^^.> (a promise to those who engage in the service

of Allah); so 18 : 30, 42, 44, 19 : 79 , 28 : 80.

3 : 139, v^--* ^t-^. cj*} H^* *- *-J}J LoJJ^ v!^' ****. rr*

^./UJt *JJI ^^.^ LgJwo auji y>^; 141, 4:133.

Used twice as a synonym of v^? 1 2 : 97, 5 : 65 (in the

latter case signifying punishment).

Cf. further the use of ^^ in the following 0. T. pas-

Ps. XVIII. 21, 3^ <fp -)33; XCIV. 23,
Job XXXIII. 27.

Often employed in the Koran in stating the fact that
Allah will surely pay each soul its full due. Its use thus
corresponds closely with that of ^_5j-> The force properly

belonging to the root Ji 5 ,

pay or perform in full, is how-
ever always present.

11 : 18, ^X^ fc$ Ji k^;5 ^^ *>*^ A# O^ O*

q^ms^Uj ^ L^.x5 ^j L^o ; 24 : 25 , *.^-Lj3 &1N (*fc**4 <-^**ji

JUL; 24:39, fc-jUo- li>i; 3:50, ^->' ^i^J; 182;

3 : 24, qjJL&j ^3
fa ^^^ Lo y^ai j^ J*-iJ 39:69, 70,

2:274, 281, 3:155, 11:111, 113 (both passages strongly


assertive), 16:112, 46:18, 4:172, 35:27, 8:62, 39:13.

53 : 38, jjj j^JcJJ A.A0LJ, is an exception, being used

in a sense like that for which Mohammed regularly employs

the IV. stem *). (Bd., l\0>!c U: %Jt ^ jilj

J *i y" 1
\* ^
&3 *JJt; so Gel.)

f* f*
The word occurs not seldom in the Koran in its original

meaning, a reward given for service rendered. Thus, 28:25,

UJ vs** 8 " ^;> !

^j^; 18:76, 7:110, 26:40.

At a certain period in the latter part of his public career

in Mekka, Mohammed seems to have felt it necessary to

defend himself repeatedly against the suspicion, or open
accusation, of preaching with a view to making some gain
from it. The charge evidently touched him at a tender
point, and his reply to it was not always meek (e.g. 52:40,

68:46)! Thus, 6:90, >l kAd pjJL\ $ J^i

3) yJ3>
^{UJJ ,J/<$] 12: 104, 25: 59, 34:46, 38 : 86, 42:22;

lO : 73, 11 : 31, 26 : 109 (where the same words are put

into the mouth of Noah); 11 : 53, 26 : 127 (Hud); 26: 145
(Salih) ; 164 (Lot); 180 (Shu aib); and the two passages
already noted above. Cf. also 36 : 20. s^> is used similarly
in ?6 : 9.

The verb y>l occurs in 28 : 27 in the original significa-

* **

1) The use of &y in the Koran is as fixed as that of tJ*}* It is applied

either to compacts, in the phrase (yJJJb) (A-_xJIj ^b^\ , or to actual

ts and measures, in the expression .%!:* 3 1 JyU' V^t.


tion "serve for wages", and in vs. 26 the X. stem is used

to mean "hire for wages". Cf. Bokh. II. 41, &J&L3 *JJI Jl5

y> * J.^5 ^Xc ^3 ^ ^.Lc! J^> &oLSJI

; ^ j%^ao3. lit

sy>t Jaxj ^ *** j,yLwb 'r^H ->U*rf J*^} **-* J^*

But ^e prevailing Koran use of ->l is the theological.

(In fact, this use has monopolized the word, so that in
modern times ^->' means generally the divine recompense,
while for wages or hire paid by one man to another H.L>l
or b' :>! is used.)

2 LiU, J^cj
f^\ r^.Ji3
E. g., : 59, r <i9 xlJL ^Jf
r ^ JUc ^>l; 106, 264, 275, 277, 3:50, 130 (,_>! ^li

^iUil, so 29 : 58, 39 : 74), 3 : 182

(^ ^jf?\ ^j Lit

SwUail), 199, 4:101, 151, 172, lO 73 : (ajjl (' J,e tfl ^>l ^,
cf. the other passages cited above) , 12 : 57 , 16 : 98 , 99

18:2 ()5J\ *b ^Stflo llw.:> ly>l p4$ ^i), 28:54 ( Dyy.

a liy so 33:31), 35:27, 39:36, 47:38, 48:16,

57 : 18, 27, 65 : 5 (>t *J k-.^), 73 : 20. From these

examples it is plain that j->* has a more restricted and

definite meaning than 'j-> or v.->^.-S. It is always positive ;

never employed to mean retribution, or even recompense in

It includes more than a just equivalent. It is nowhere

said of the righteous, as of the wicked, \yM lo

q 5j^U Lit

O^-L-vt-J (52 : 16, &c, see under <cj_:>) ; on the contrary,

1) This use of ^L (found often in the Koran) is also a distinctively

commercial form of expression. Allah is represented as a debtor , under obliga-

tion to pay.

lO : 27 , 50U5 &"&$ ^Ju*ot ^-jlXJJ (while vs. 28 ,


L^Ias Xlcw *lp- oL^jl

\yj>*S). So 6 : 161, '^^JAi *L> ^
; and 39 : 36 ,
_ -
^jj^Uj Ul^ ^AJt syJ
, -OS
^ JJ

Uj f^K l5 i\J! ^>b ^y>l; cf. 16:98, 99, 65:5,
&c, Bokh. I. 18 : 17 sq. The believer will receive a recom-

pense for each and all of his good works (99 : 7 &c), and
this is meant by the terms v!>-*> ^J-^j * n their
what is

strict use, but he will receive more than this, B0U3 ^^S-

(19 : 27). So 5* :

over and above even the doubled payment of the "loan".

11, 17, where the
^ j>\ is something

The distinction between *';-:> and -js>\ is illustrated in

4=2 : 38, aJJI J*c j>b ^IaoIj Uc ^s L&&* &aa* ^am *|j>j

The y>f, then, is a g^'/V of God, over and above what has
been earned, and is the gift in the future life. 3 : 182, &c.
(29 : 26 may be called an "exception that proves the rule",
inasmuch as the Lo^Xjf ^ ~>t is evidently mentioned here
as a special distinction given to Abraham.) It belongs to
S. } o o
every Muslim. Cf. with the above passages, &UI liLiVj JLt

^.x-JL/) <iL-^, in "Mohammed's letter to Heraclius", Bokh.

III. 215, and such favorite traditions as that given in Bokh.
II. 204 : 9 sq.

It is something distinct from the wjL*>. The ideas v^L*^,

*^>, came first and were fundamental, then came the idea
of the j-^- It is interesting to note that where this idea
occurs in the earliest Suras, it is expressed by j-^-c j->i
^JUwo, 68:3, 84:25, 95:6 (also 41:7; cf. 39:13

As we should expect, *};-:> and v!>-* O^v^) are often

used loosely to mean the future reward in general, thus

taking on nearly or quite the signification of t->*- E. g.

3 : 130, 20 : 78, 18 ; 30, 2 : 97, &c.
Any sharp distinction between these terms would be arti-

ficial. In such passages as 3: 139, .-z>\ could not well be

substituted for vl^*
An expression which often recurs, in somewhat varying
form, is ^fc***^ _>l yoai ^, 18 : 29, 9 : 169, 11 : 117,
12:56, 90, 3:165, 9:121, generally building the end
of a verse.
A much more convenient verse-ending, and a favorite
with Mohammed is the expression A-Jac ->l. This
, (with its

opposite, f.xii i-A\_c) is a good example of the expressions

kept on hand by the prophet for purposes of rhyming in
the later portions of the Koran. ^aS" ->t is the form which
first appears, X9 : 10, 6? : 12, 11 : 14, 35 : 8 (once
juS, 5*:

Medina Suras:
f*&a 9
y>l, 33:43, 57:11,
4:44, 70, 76, 97, 114,

145, 160, 5 : 12, 8 : 28, 9 : 22, 33 29, 35, 48 10, 29,

: :

49: 3, 64: 15.

Certain denominative uses of y>i by Muslim writers furnish

a further commentary to the Koran use. Thus, Ibn-Gubair,

ed. Wright , 330 ,

^a *$\ *.%X* U q*JI**o *.p . . . 20L03 Lol^

ipjt ^AaoXjj |j>Ijj LcjiaJ j$*?ft (r

Aa ^* ^-* P* 4 ^ *^ e P nrase

LU-uC^jj L>Lj occurs *) (cf. under ^a*>). The same signifi-

cation, "tacher de meriter une recompense dans la vie future",

is assigned to the VIII. stem in Dozy, Suppl. ).

Cf. further the expressions bJJj q^U _>! , vSi^ & ->J, &c,

1) These references., with others, are given in Ibn-Gubair, Gloss.

2) Nold. , Del. Carm. , 21 : 7 , is a good example (before the end of the
Omeyyad rule).

illustrating the tenet that the Muslim receives a reward

(,:>!) for each and all of his young children that die.

The 0. T. "-Q^ bears little resemblance to the Koran

jZ>-\ , though the two words have the same primary meaning.
Gen. XV, 1, ^Q pDlfl -p3ft -> }j ^JJ<; Is. XL,
io, vjEDb lrtejsn wn rafr run LXIL n ;
Jer - XXXI >
16 -

Cf. Is. XLIX. 4 , i,-]^ -pN T)^D i

with I : 73 , &c.

In the N. T., Luke VI. 23, . . . ftou yocp b (jLi<rQb<; vpoov

7ro\v<; iv rep ovpxva (Syr. as -

)); vs. 35, Matt, VI. 1,

X. 41, 42, Heb. X. 35, XL 26; Rom. IV, 4, t Ik

ipy^ofiivcji o fturdbs ou Xoyi^sroci kxtx %xpiv xK\k koltoc,

dcpsi^fiot. I Cor. III. 14, II John 8, Rev. XL 18. Matt.

XIX. 29 , kx) 'Kocq ovriq xQZjjcsv olxlctg vj dfisXCpovc % otisXQocq


(axtoc , irohhairKouriovok Kvka^sti kk) ^ooviv kiqqviov KXvipo-

vo/aya-ei. Mark X. 30.

To what extent w*-^-J' belongs in our list is not easy

to say. Its meaning has passed through the stages gain *),

{seek to gain), earn, deserve, and as commonly used in the

Koran it is very nearly equivalent to J*-^, "do" (good or

evil), and is so interpreted by the Corns. Thus Gel. to

2 : 198, |^-a^ U* ^--^A^ai

-J i^-j^f, explains \^m^ by

1) Zunachst wohl "suchen", nicbt "sammeln"; cf. ^.^jS' (com. Jojyo)

fiir die Wolfe, Lebid, Mo'all., 38. So auch die beliebte Construction mit 2 Objj.,

L-aaw K+**,S , er sorgte dafur, dass er etwas erwarb", ahnlicb wie L*-J

t* (N.)

^LxiJj gJL cr !A^- So

even here one. finds the commercial signification,
to : 21 ,
yfc J ^^ J^. But
the "doing"
being connected with what it produces. Other passages are
explained by J.* without further qualification. Bd. to 2 : 75,

UJt v-jL^Pl \S$J& aLi ju v^bl>l$ Kaam wa.^5" ^o, tries

to find in the word something more than J*x, and has the
* o _
following : X&J? J^fc XaamJIj muLu^ *aJL$J v.^L^uJ v^.**Ji

The original meaning of i^-mS, according to Lane, is

to collect (property). Cf. e. g. Kash. to 39 : 51. The usual

signification is that given in Mohit el-Mohit, ^Lw> us.^.^

au^ 5 *-JLb ULcj. Thus, Bokh. II. 7, 9, 10, 54, 55, and
the verse of Imrulkais (Diw. 29 : 8)


o O _
8.A_J ., Jin i C U-A-Mfc-5^ ^r^
v^-**-^ in the literal signification to gain" is not wholly
wanting in the KoraD. In 111 ;2, Abu Lahab is cursed
in the words ^.^ Uj aJL fc_JL-c ^_\ U! Kash., U5 aJlo

^^M3 JUt
15 : 84 , 39
: 51
, 40 : 82
fJk <_^5
, where the word seems
so Bd. Cf. 45
: 9


about the same signification as in the above passage. So

O S w w OS
2 269: , \jopb q+ p61 Ljl>.3>1 U^ aXw***' U oLx-b q* ^iiftjt.

The meaning "deserve" (earn) appears in 33 : 58, ^jcXJIj

*J) \y^iS\ U ^j oLuJilj uy^ 1

05^ 2:225 4:36, >

2 : 128, 286, and the often recurring sentence ^S ^y Ji

^^r to y^fti, 2:281, 3:24, 155, 14:51, 4:17, 45:21.

i) Kash.,
?f>\^*> jWs^ i jyi a *.

On the other hand in such passages as 2 75 lO , : , : 28

31:34, 4:111 (cf. the preceding verse), 52:21, 9 4 : 41
v^^-^-y seems to be almost exactly equivalent to J^e. The
idea of earning is undoubtedly present , but is certainly very
elusive. So in 5 : 42 (the punishment of thieves) , L^. *\y>-
L-*.-^_^ could hardly be translated "requital for what they
have deserved".
All this is interesting, the more so, as the word seems
to be a favorite with Mohammed. Most of these passages
suggest the original signification collect". How far the trade

idea was present here to Mohammed is a question not easily

v_***/ and ^Avjtfi are generally regarded as equivalent.
In 2 : 286 the two are placed in juxtaposition, and the
Corns. (Bd. , Kash. , Gel., Nes.), feeling themselves bound to

make some distinction, agree in assigning to t^Aw-JC^t here

a more intensive meaning; L^J L^*^ 5 ^ L**fti adJI s^abo ^

<JjXi\ (6
: 113, 120, 9 : 24, 42 :
22), ^-^ (45 :
and _^> ) (6 : 60), are pronounced by the Corns, equivalent
to I.

Loss; Fraud.

The "loss" might be of two kinds; either incurred through

the fault of the loser himself, by engaging in an unprofitable
business or making a foolish bargain, or through unfair
dealing by the other party (Allah).

Bd., Kash., even add (to 45:20) &>^l> *J**y (_ j]y>, 5:6, cf.

>y, Lebtd, Mo'alL, 38 (?).)


The former idea is represented in the Koran by

the latter chiefly by Jl>.

The word occurs three times in the Koran in speaking

of actual trade; 83 : 3 *), ybtff to!

a-J^Ji < ^sAbJJ jj

I^Jt1 I^-Jg; 26: 181, ^^d^Jt ^ t^ft ^ J^Jjt J^l

A -a*L> is a man who is a in an evil case", whether he

himself is aware of the fact or not. 23 : 36, aJLJM cy-*^)

oVUj- 131
5oi ^jO&o ijjfcl So 7:88; cf. 3:142, 5:24,

and 79 12 2 ).

Mohammed always uses -**> in a very serious way. The

loser' ' is cheated through his own folly (Nes., Gel.). The
"loss" is complete, including not only the profits, but also
the capital itself (JLit ^Jj *#*', Bd. to 4 : 118, 6: 12).

It is even equivalent to total destruction (<i)bl), as at 11 : 49,

7 : 22, 148 (Nes., in com. to 2 : 25).

Life is a losing business 3

) to all but believers. 103 : 2,

*Jf ]yS\ ^.JJI Sli tyli ^ Uo1ll ^t; 65:9, 17:84,

35:37, 11:66, 71:20. More specifically, 6:31, c\_

aUJt *tSJtj ^-jJLT -j>\Jt

r ^i>, 10:46, cf. 4 : 78, 85,

45:26, 4: 118, 6:141 (those who buried their children


1) Cf. Amos VIII, 5,6.

2) Some of these passages will be further noticed below
3) Cf. Kash., Gel., to 103 : 2.

The "loss" is often further defined by an appended ac-

cusative; thus, 23 : 105, 7:8, liV-j^ls *-L^yo o*.a> ^ 5

<2U*it l^_**_> ^AJ {

. This expression 2Wfti {
Jjy*J> ^A^
is often employed as a designation of the unbelievers, 6 :

12, 20, 7 : 51, 11 : 23, 22 : 11, eU3 H

3>^ LJjJf y3-

In all these examples , -**:> retains its intransitive force *).

(Nes., 2U*ait y^c.) The term ..**:> applies to the unbelievers

more truly and emphatically than to any other class of

people; they are 05 __.lJ>^. 18 103, 27 5 (B^-iSl ^s), : :

11 : 24 , cf. 21 70. The same is stated in another way in


39 : 17, 42 : 44, ^^ r ^ l^r"*

3 o^ O*^
" j;

K/oLaJI -.j.

The unbeliever is the "loser" par excellence. Accordingly,

Mohammed soon came to employ the term ^AwL-ii as a
convenient designation for his opponents of all classes. The
term contained an argument as well as a reproach , and had
moreover, the advantage of making a good verse-ending; so
it appears as one of the most frequent "stock" expressions in
the later Mekkan Suras and throughout the Medina period.
Thus, 7:22, 90, 97, 148, 177, 10:95,11:49, 16:110,
29: 52, 39 63, 65, 4LL 22, 24, 46: 17, 2:25, 61, 115,
: :

3 79, 5:7, 33, 58, 8 38, 9 70, 58 20, 63 9.

: : : : :

In all these passages, ^-mLz> might easily be an out-

growth of Mohammed's use of yo- ("lose") to describe the
unbelievers. On the other hand, 23 :36, 7 : 88, 3 : 142,
5 : 24 (already noticed above), seem to point to a more
extended figurative use of -m*3, and one older than the

1) As in Aramaic and Syriac.


Koran. 12:14 may be regarded as conclusive on this point:

^5-^L^- LM LiP ^AAO q^3 w<sJi\it

*&! ^JJ yis. Here there

is hardly a trace of the meaning "lose". The clause ^^o$

aLx-Aa-c demands the translation of ..
_a*Lj> by "imbeciles")
"blockheads", or some such term ').

Such a use as this could not arise in a short time, and

we must suppose that y*X> as a term of disparagement was
current long before Mohammed's time.

Cf. with the above Mar. VIII. 36, ; x ft y >

A jj.^

JB2*J fli^sJo 5^} 3 ai^s Ua^ J UJj-c; Philip. III. 7,

8 (jjftf0i*)

The expressions of defrauding, unfair dealing in trade,

are employed (in the figurative sense) in only one way, viz.

in the statement that Allah will not defraud in any smallest

degree in settling man's account.

Used in speaking of actual trade, 9 : 83, 11 : 86 (said

by Shu c
aib), ^UJl ^iuS' % JzmSlL |^ljj JLjCLI ^1
j?U&!; 26 : 183; 12 : 20 ((j*JkJ a*:o 8^) 5
2 ; 282 -

In the theological sense, 11 : 18, s^-x-JI tA-j^-j qI ^wo

72 : 13, U$> ^ 5 U*^U uSL^y ^s ^ CT!>^- O***

1) So Bd. 4.ft*/>; Gel. 5j>^; Kash. jt Jj-^j 1^3-j U*/to

t>&J i Qyb?W<>. Cf. Kash., to 23 : 36 , &y& q)/"^*

A root which appears in several different forms.

52:21, &j Uiijsvlt qUjLj ^*J^ (H***- 5

^ !>**' o^- 5

(Bd., j?LuJij).
S O _ JO

(i. e. , from the reward of your deeds. Corns.).


Or, c^-A-J nere ma y he considered as coming from c^Jj-

Other readings connect it with ^.Y) ; thus Gel. states that

the word read UJI aJljot.,
*f$ )+$*
is )

11 : 111, y^SJLo-^xc *A*aJ fy+* ^3* (Used like g*^,

y*>, for cheating in trade, at 11 : 85.)

1) Die beiden Worter (c>-J' , o-^-j) geboren sicber zusammen; da ent-

scheidet uns 53 : 21 liber 49 : 14 und zeigt, dass ^UL als *.*1j


= *XxJLi %..

zu nebmen ist. Die Higazier spracben in solcben Fallen das s. nicht aus;
cf. die Beispiele in meiner "Gescbicbte des Qorans", S. 250. Ausser q~3

La,& (JjL/=f

Vertrag mit den Medinensern)

^ ^Xa-Lj, Wellbausen, Skizzen, 4 , t*Y, 19 (Mubammed's
, babe ich nie eine weitere Form von diesem

C^J' resp. 0.J3 oder gar c>-aJ gefunden. Immerbin mag es mit ^S** O*^
zusammenbangen , also in letzter Instanz mit "^ , "nicbt". Die beiden Dicbter-

stellen bei Gaubari s. v. 0J haben die Koranstellen benutzt ; die Spiiteren

kannten das Wort offenbar nicbt mehr. Gliicklicherweise ist die Bedeutungin
den beiden Stellen klar. (N.)
2) Cf. tbe preceding note.



Used like the preceding words, but much oftener.

21:48, y^ai *.Ux) ^Ls JL^Uiiit *^J _La**.aif ^;IJ' ^* 5a b

18:47, ^-jj pA-y "^ L*oL> l^JUc U ^lX-^j vjUHI .^35

U_>1; 39:69, 70, 2:274, 281, 3:24, 155, 6:161,

IO : 48, 55, 16 : 112, 36 : 54, 40 : 17, 45 : 21 , 46: 18;

4:44, bjo JU&o ^Xlaj *^ *JJI ^i; Iff : 73, ajLxJ' jy +s

bUxs ^4.Uaj ^5 (^^ Q 5

._ft_j i^-j^jlj &aa*-u; 4:52, 79,

123 (Cu3). Bd. (to Iff :

73), ^ ^jl ^y>i q- y^ 1
So Gel.; Nes. to 2 : 281, &c.

2 : 54, oyJ^. <2UAit iytf ^ I^Jtb U. Cf. IO : 45.

In all the above examples, ,Jh has the meaning defraud"

(in a business transaction). The more common "oppress",
"wrong by violence", &c. , would be here out of place.

At 18 : 31 we see the word used in a very different

connection, and approaching more closely the literal mean-

ing of (jniii ) : La*J &JU JLkj ^ L^b I

oul qaa4* UK.

Bd. , Gel., Kash., (jaJUj ^5.

Cf. further 2 : 279 (after forbidding ^Ji)

, *& ^ ^5 *

G^Jlii- ^ g^-JUtf ^
r -0>_^ y^j. Bd., Gel.,
yJ^3 ^

5 JuaJL q*Juu ^3 HoUJI l\:>L.
This (^vaiii) is not in any sense a fundamental signification

1) But of course *.!? always contains the idea of lessening , or withholding

in part, that which is due.


of JJb. It is plain that the more common use of the word

in the Koran has nothing to do with the idea (jo-iLi. Mo-
hammed's favorite "^JUkif" is not equivalent to Q^JL-kJ'
j***ait (2 : 54). Mohic el-Mohit gives as the primary mean-
ing of Jib: MoyA J+.C. (3 ^1 *2' ^ Lane. The idea

"wrong" [natiirlich in letzter lnstanz "dunkel" (N.)] is every-

where underlying.

Buying and Selling; Profit.

The business relations of Allah with mankind include

actual bargaining , buying and selling, as well as payment,
keeping an account, and the like.

The idea is characteristic of the latter part of Moham-

med's public ministry in much the same way that ujL*> is
characteristic of the earlier portion. From standing alone,
burning with his message of warning, he came to be a
political power, at the head of a large party. The centre of
gravity of his preaching shifted from descriptions of the
last day to practical teachings concerning conduct and condi-
tions in this life. This difference is plainly marked in his

use of the words

^^ , **j , fj&'i ,
in which the emphasis is

always strongly on present conditions , or, more particularly

on the attitude assumed toward Mohammed and his political

As a matter of fact, these words hardly occur at all in
the Koran before the Medina period.

. #

In classical Arabic, ^-J* is used to mean both "buy"

and "sell", ^o, commonly meaning an exchange of property,

barter, may also have either signification 1

). In modern
Arabic, as Professor Hartmann kindly informs me, ^$'A-&\
means always "buy", 5-^ always "sell". In the Koran ^j
means selV\ [^y^ means "buy" 2 ).
<Cj_.& is always a strong term as employed (in its the-
ological sense) by Mohammed. It carries high praise or bitter
reproach , or is used argumentatively with a force manifestly
greater than that of ,**.:>.

As it happens ,
^^w (sell) , when used of men , is always
a term of praise in the Koran; Lg;_.X.&i (buy) a term of re-
proach. (2 : 96 is an apparent exception to this. See below.)
The second party to the "trade" (Allah) is rarely men-
tioned or suggested, nothing more being expressed than the
simple idea of an exchange. The Corns, generally paraphrase

{Sf (l^t^) by JA.*xJ , and that is in many cases a fairly

good equivalent. It is unlikely that Mohammed had any
clear idea of a transaction in mind, in some of these pas-
sages ). This is of course precisely what we should expect,

if we suppose him to have found these terms already in

common use.
The objects of sale or barter are varied so far at least , ,

as the form of expression goes. The form most frequently

recurring is that found at 2:38, ^LJli u*3 J^LLj ^jXA'J ^,

i. e. , do not make the bad bargain of misusing our revela-
tions, or withholding them for your own purposes! Moham-
med is here speaking to the Jews, and it is generally in
addresses to this people that the ^yfc passages occur. It is

his final argument and his most cutting accusation. To be

1) Contrast Bd. (S : 15) -jL> stX-^ij yl^vo ^Jji J3U, with Nes.

(3:15) cLx-X-j^J f .X.^t 5 aN sL&IU The distinction here made by

Bd. is by far the most common in classical Arabic.

2) But see Q : 84 , below.

3) E. g. S : 84.

called .si/, or promised the most blood-curdling tortures in

*-*-$-> would give no unbeliever much concern, but to be

charged with making a foolish bargain that was a reproach

that every Arab could feel! So 2:169, 170, g-rfjUl ^1

&i^ .... ^Lls L*5 ao qjJC&jj ^k*S^ ^ *W Jjjt U ^^.xXj

^J^JL K&LaJI ^; -X-^l q-A-W- Cf - also ^ : 73, 3 : 71

(f^ *W wX^ju), 184, 198, 5 : 48. These are all addressed

to the Jews. 16 : 97, on the other hand, was probably-
spoken at Mekka. Here *JJ' ^\-^_c seems to mean simply
{'&*% Cf. vs. 93 and 9 : 12.

9:9, *JUxa* ^c ly-^Afls ^-Jl* Li^' *W l*W W^' , occurs

in the final proclamation concerning the unbelievers, read

by c
Alt at the "Abti Bekr pilgrimage". It is Mohammed's
final accusation against them.
Cf. with these passages 5 : 105, lu5 *j ^-JLAJ *^, oc-

curring in a practical teaching of Mohammed's. The phrase

^.xj ^A.&t in the figurative sense is not uncommon in the

old poems. Thus, Zuhair (Noldeke, Del. Carm. Arab., 106 : 9)

xJLas v^A-x-S' ylk** ,-j

o _
.^Joli (j^LaJi \X+Z> &a9 f^j*& u
Very similar is
Alkama Diw. 13: 32:

^ *j ii

L5r*-^ J ^ A-fr-^JIj

and cf. en-Nabigha, Fragments, 2.

A similar use is met with in the expression ^JX^ii Uj&!

^A^iLi, S:15, 170 (quoted above), 4:47 (^(-XgJL omitted).
Another variation, 3: 171, L*-j JIj ^i.0 l^&l gJ.Jdl;

1) Bokh. has a "historical" setting for this verse. II. 13, III. 213.

and still a third, 2:80, Bji>

ilj L^iwXJI s>-^-& ^-X-j&t,

"they buy this life at the price of the life to come"! said
of the Jews '), in a fierce denunciation. Cf. Noldeke, Bei-
trage, 65: 1:

l^JL/0 ^-A-J C^->5 Lj V_jLJ

On the other hand , 4:76, ^-JtXii &$ J^** ^ J^^M*

.:>% LuuXJ' >^>- qj^So, "those who sell this life for

the life to come", is spoken in praise and encouragement

of the believers.
A close parallel with these passages is furnished by the
use of jjo in 2 : 102, 14 : 33; cf. 18 : 48.

Still more pointed than the preceding is the form of

expression found at 2 : 203, z\Juj\ ***ai ^yio q-. ^jJjJi [
y* >

*]Jt oL^yoj delivered at Mekka(?). The believer is represented

as selling himself , the price being the *JJI oLco-*, and the
purchaser Allah. Contrast 2 : 84 (in an invective against
the Jews), ^av^jI 20 IjJC&i U*Ju 2
), and vs. 96, ^JLc -X.ftJ

&_i i)- & U (ja^aa^ O^L-^> (j- S-_3^M Jt *J Lo La.&{ j*J

*^aJt, They w/ this [evil teaching] at the price of their

own souls.

Cf. with the first clause of this passage 31 :

5 ,
ydjjl (j- 5

w 5 it _ O _- -
^\Jt J^axi vi>-Jt\il ^-^-J ^aaSo ^~*, also spoken in bitter

reproach, referring probably to en-Nadr ibn el-Harith and

his too interesting tales. (Ibn Hisham 191, 235.)
But the plainest and fullest statement in the Koran of

the commercial relation between Allah and man is that at

1) All of these passages, with the exception of 3 : 171 , are directed against
the Jews.

2) (k
_5jA'' must here he translated "sell", however; a deviation from the
usual Koran use.

9:112, f.--J qLj

^^ p^sif [$**>U cr UJj*^' *^ o^

adJt Jwu s ..jjli'lfij K-LJl, spoken on the return from the

Tebtik expedition. Allah "buys" the believers, "themselves
and their property", giving paradise in payment for the same.

The devotion of life and property to the Muslim cause is

here enjoined in a manner very characteristic of Mohammed's

way of thinking '). This verse has played probably no in-
considerable role in the history of Muslim conquest. Cf. 4L : 76
(quoted above) , where the idea is the same ; also 2 : 203 )


The same expression, carrying a similar idea, occurs in

pre-Mohammedan times. Thus ,
Orwa ibn el-Ward (Nold.
Del. Carm., 36: 10):

-o- _

Mohammed employs the word ^J* twice in the Koran in

speaking of actual trade; 12 : 20 (^yfc), 21 {^3&\).

An instructive outgrowth of this Koran use is the employ-

ment of the term q 5
,LJI to designate the sect of the Kha-

1) Cf. 61:4, 1012.

2) The Corns. (Bd., Kash., Gel.) make this refer to Suhaib, who left his
property behind in Mekka.
3) I. e., I will buy lasting renown with my life, by exposing it to death
(in the purposed raid).

Cf. Ibn Batouta (ed. Defremery) IV, page 196, (jJJLM Js SbUtf \3o
O w

Lo i 5 l
o^Ji &*& o^tls IjjLa^. it Jji&t iUjiXtl ^JLj\ cf. also

- DC _
the expression y-+-3 (j^^jLj \-A*_ftj ^jj, quoted from Bocthor in Dozy,
Supplement. Eng., "sell one's life dearly".

rigites, in the early Caliphate. Of course the orthodox Mus-

lims would often try to interpret this term in such a way
as to make it a reproach (cf. el-Kamtis , in Lane) , but the
true explanation is undoubtedly that of Gauhari (quoted in

Beladhuri, GrL), Xclb b Lu*jl Loyi Li'

(H^ tiUAj \^^
*Jjl. That this was the meaning of the Kharigites themselves
is plain enough from the following verse (Nold., Del. Carm.,
88: 15);

For other examples of ^y* as applied to the Kharigites,

see Kamil (ed. Wright) 528 : 1 , 560 : 16, 619 : 6, 595 : 16
(cIj instead of Ly) ').

That ***ai ^-.A came to be used as a technical term in

the Muslim army is evident from Beladhuri 377, _>Lgil qI&

*)Jb J^A J> LjJl & Cfy a > gs^l ^ ^IJL Jig ^1
/?"k*^ O 1

c5"^>* ^ S*^ ^ ^^
D^-5 *" M ** i Lf^M o 5

J.c vi^c (5^/0 _^J JI& ^jLa ^-^5 x^ai t5j^ O ^c1


lX^&a^J ^Z> J.jUs _X*Ji ^s.

On the other hand, the Koran use of *w*aj ^-X-.&t as a

reproach is further exemplified in the verses quoted by Bd.,

Kash. (to 2:15):

1) All these references are given in Briinnow, "Die Charidschiten unter

den ersten Omayyaden", p. 29.
This figure of buying and selling is not uncommon in

the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. II Ki. XVII. 17,

mm ^sp pn rrwyb i-o^mi

); i ki. xxi. 20, 25.

The idea in the 0. T. is generally that of the people Israel

being sold (into slavery), or ransomed, by Jehovah ). Thus,
is. l. i, DDWijn |n t> cana ^an ^m ^jd ^
onnsDj; LIL 3 ;
Ps -
XLIV - 13 > pn n^d -py -Don
DmmniM man k^i; Deut - xxxn. 30 ;
judg. n. 14,

amo^a ts onsD^ ^infero mm r\x "irn;

III. 8, IV. 2, 9. Of ransoming,
11, Q^2 j-piTl Is. XL
isy n^ dn nup^ it rnjtf ^in ^d^ Kinn
QnaSDI T#ND INE^ TW- C f als the proper - <>

name j-|Jp^ 3 )
The idea of a ^racfo with God (which after all is not a
trade, but rather the receiving of a gift!) is found at Is.

lv. i, 2brn \" TTO *6m rpi n^d TOO irfri-

Cf. Rev. III. 18.

In the N. T., the idea of ransoming receives a new im-

pulse through the doctrine of the atonement. Acts XX, 28,
. s . ryv iKKhyeioiv rod Qsov v\v 7repi7roty<7KTO dice tov oufia-

toq rov ft/0f/. Col. I. 14, I Pet. I. 18, 19, Eph. I. 14.

I Cor. VI. 20, xx) ova i<TTs bxutuv , vtyopcicrQyjTs yotp Ti^q.
VII. 23, I Tim. II. 6, Tit. II. 14, Gal. IV. 5. Rom. VII.
14, syoo Vs (Tccpxivos slfii , 7rs7rpa,fAvog utto tvjv ifJcxpTiav,

1) Welche Vorstellung diesem "QOnD zu G-runde liegt, ist mir nicht

recht klar. (N.)
2) An idea fundamentally different from that in the Koran, evidently. The
children of Israel were the j-flpp I'D}? , bought or sold by Him at His
pleasure. Their relations with Him were not business relations.
3) In this name the verb J-|}p may have another meaning, to be sure.
Cf. also the preceding note.

Mar. VIII. 37, r/ yocp %ol aripuirog oivToeXXxyftot, rijq \f;vxfc

Of buying and selling between God and man, Rev. III. 18,

<Tu[Afiov\8voo aot xyopocioci 7rup' iftou %pv7iov 7r7rvpcof^ivov sk

TTupoq foot nXovTvivyc; , kts.

cb, unlike <j*v, appears in the Koran only rarely in the

figurative sense. It has everywhere its principal signification,

"barter", "bargain".
In 9: 112, it is used to designate the transaction Uj-
**ftil (see above): &j *JC_juIj ^lX-J' aXxaaj LjAmuJ3 9
"rejoice in the bargain ye have made!"
A very characteristic phrase is &xi caj ^ mj ; 14L : 36

<j^l3 "^ &<i .jo "^

j.^-j j^b ^ J^o q^, also occurring at

2 : 255. (Cf. 2 : 45, 117, 31 : 32.) The idea here seems to

be that of ransoming ; so Gel. ^LXi. (Nes. , on the other hand,

J^F o ^ s|j> mj S$ &*Hc.) This phrase would be sure

to catch the ear of every Arab: "a day when there is

no bargaining, and no account made of tribe or family"!

In 4L8 : 10 , aJJI ^yulu Lit <g\JyuLj fjJiXJI

^ ,
the word

is used in the more general signification of making a mutual

compact or contract J
). Cf. Bokh. II. 28: 6 sq.; 60 ; 12, &c.

x-^i cLi (= &**&i l5j^) is occasionally met with in Mus-

lim writers. E. g. , Ibn Khaldoun (ed. Slane), 128 : 17, t\i

1) Namely, that of Hodeibia.


^*XJ 5 ffrgilAAAai &JJt --jLa-^ ^_+l*J! 3L-^LJj' Q- j^C Jaj

P&U) ~yj J^ &X-d U 8

3 Ac oL^>3 *JN cr (j*.^L (Ref-
erence given, with others, in Dozy, Suppl.) See also under
^5-aw, above.

Used, like *-&j, in designating some one of the various

transactions described above under \^J\ thus, ^>\JI g^j^f

pV,L^' o-^ L; ^Ji-frJIj &&LaJt ^^CAl, 2 : 15; 61 : 10,

The same "bargain", evidently, as at 9:112, 4:76, &c.

This utterance might well have been occasioned by some
such occurrence as that referred to in 62 : 11, where the
sudden arrival of a caravan from Syria, in the midst of
the Friday service, cost the prophet his audience (Corns.
and Bokh. Cf. 24 : 37, 9 : 24).

In 35 : 26 (a Mekkan passage), &Ut u-jU^ qJLaj rjjJ) n'

^ B^L^' ytf>j*. KjO^Lcj Ij-a ^Ui;^ U/o ^fti^ B^Loit \jJ$\)

jfi*5i the emphasis is evidently on the word t^aji. Cf. 14 :

36, and 2 : 255.

What the believer gains in this transaction is the j~>J

vs. 27. Cf. the saying Vj>W \Lsu

f-^ c (Lane).

The word occurs only in connection with j^-^, in the

passages quoted above. ' , ^

The opposite of ^-**_i>. It occurs only in the passage

2 : 15, pj>j*F &*&) U l5^L xJXail j^l ^jJJI istf^l,

"it was not a winning transaction for them" *). (..JLb S.l^cJI

JUi uJ, ^ jy**j ^y^ g^L g^ii (Bd.).

Cf. I Tim. VI. 6, svriv Ve iro pianos (JLsyoce; $ svee&eioL

(jcstk ,uTocpx.siotq. Mar. VIII. 36, 7 y#/> aQsXsl ctvQpuTrov

xspcivjGoti rbv x6g(jcqv oKov xa) tyfttdoQijvaci tv\v tyvxyv xutov;

Loans; Security.

The idea of the lending of property is closely connected

with that of buying and selling. In the Koran, (j--3 is a

loan which the Muslim makes to Allah. Always in the expres-
sion U^ss- Lay [jojtt*

2 : 246, a! &&cL&a9 Ua*> L/toJ5 *JJt

ijj5j (^AJt t<3
^ 5

B^tf IsUajI; 5: 15, 57 : 11, 17, 64: 17, 73: 20.

The above passages, taken in their connection, leave no

room for doubt as to what the prophet himself meant by
the "loan". Cf. 2:245, *1N J-**** Ijlsljj^ 57:10, &*

JulSj gJ&3i J*--3 ^ vJUit; 64 1416; 5

: : 15, ^.Syj^cj

1) Cf. the expression sometimes heard among German Jews: "er hat einen
guten Revach gemacht"! [n"Qin; a l so "Revvich", "Rebbich". (Euting; who
also refers to the dictionaries of the Jewish-German language by Vollbeding
and Selig.)] Professor Noldeke doubts the existence of an Aramaic root pQ")>

though adding that the Arabic ^o. is exactly paralleled in the Aethiopic.

(where Mohammed, as usual, pictures his own circumstances

in those of the former prophets). The "loan" is always pos-
itive service, aid extended to the prophet J^"^ {
j^.sS% ).

The expression occurs only in Medina passages.

Whether ^^> means here on advantageous terms", or
"praiseworthy" (because made in true zeal; Gel.), or simply

"in a good cause" (Kash,), amounts of course to practically

the same thing. Bd. advances a number of explanations.

Cf. Prov. XIX. 17, D ^, ^pju y, p ln nirp ni

D .

Mar. X. 21, virxye ova. s%eiq 7raXi}(rov tea) Sb<; to7g

7TT00%0~iq , KCi) %^Slq d>}(T0CVpbv SV OUpXVCp ).


lO : 31 , vii*ftJL*J lo ijJ6 jj" j.Uj gUUP, every soul shall

receive in the future life that for which it has paid in

advance )
(viz. by good works). So 69:24, \lk$> tayfclj \j)S

This idea of payment in advance is like that of the loan

though much more general. Cf. the clause in 73 : 20, Lj

*JJi l\Xc v^O^f -<i> q- *\**ai^ I^Aftj', and Kash. to 2:246

(quoted above); cf. also 36 : 11, 89 : 25, 22 : 10, &c. Bd.

to 36:11 has )v\A3 fciLoJl Jl/tfl ^ ^aLJ Lo.

1) It is probable, as Professor Noldeke remarks, that Mohammed always

meant by q.w.> (joji the actual lending of property to Allah.

2) In both of these examples, the "lending" is evidently fundamentally

different from that in the Koran. God is not the object of the loan.
3) Cf. Bokh. II. 44 sq.

Every soul is held by G-od as security for the debt it

has incurred by its deeds. (A familiar figure of speech in

the older Arabic poetry.)

52:21, ^Pj y,^ U ^a\ Jy.

&A& q.jc\j -VfcC Jw^vJJ O"^"- ^-^Q^y) Kash., so

Bd., Gel.

Also 94 : 41 ,
^Ji v->L>i ^ Z^Pj ^~S U u^ai JJ\

- ^

wiH ^bb alsy^yi oJi^ L/ 1

*y*i', Kash., so Bd. The
^*uJi v^jL^I are said by the Corns, to be either angels or
little children. The latter was the interpretation of Alt
(Kash.). Mohammed himself undoubtedly had the same idea
in mind as at 56 : 8 , and used the expression without
noticing the inconsistency.
Compare with the above passages 2 : 283, ^c +mS qJj

\ioys&A Q^y LoU \$0<^ ^5 jOjm; and Bokh. II. 9: 15 sq.

(a tradition that very often occurs).


It may be well to bring together here some of the facts

that have appeared in the preceding pages.

Taking these expressions as a whole, it cannot be said
that Mohammed employs them at any one period more than
at another. On the contrary, there is a striking uniformity

in their numerical distribution throughout the Koran, from

the earliest Suras to the latest ).

Nor can it be said of any single term that it belongs

necessarily to a given period, so that from the simple fact
of its presence one could predict with certainty the date of
a passage. All this is natural in view of the character of
the terms themselves.
In the use of certain classes of these expressions, how-
ever, there is a perceptible variation, or rather, a shifting
of the centre of gravity, in the progress of the "revelation".

The most vigorous and characteristic idea of the earliest

Suras, that of a personal reckoning with God at the *^-j

kcUftJt, loses its primitive strength, and the words ijL%*_o

(in the above signification), JJ&, im)5, and even .**:>, have
really spent their force before the Medina period. The words
^yi, .-o, 8L^', (j^ji, occur only in the later Suras. They
belong to a time when the relation of men to Islam had
taken precedence over their relation to God, in Mohammed's
In the latest Mekkan Suras (Noldeke's third period ")
the "stock expressions" Q 5j .v.lii, *jJic y>l > &c come
into power, most of them appearing then for the first time.
These seem generally to be Mohammed's own property. In-
asmuch as they are verse-endings employed for rhyming
purposes, they occasionally make a somewhat mechanical and
lifeless impression. On the other hand, it must be always
borne in mind that "stock expressions" have their origin in
stock ideas. The very fact that these commercial terms are
so used is significant.

The Old- and New-Testament writings often contain ex-

pressions which resemble those we are considering; so far,
at least, as form of words is concerned. But even a su-

1) In Flugel's edition, 29 pages belong to the

first Mekkan period, 68 to

the second,
108 to the third, and 108 to the Medina period: these words
occur 30, 60, 148 and 133 times, respectively.

perficial comparison must emphasize the unique character of

the Koran, in this respect.
The mutual relations between God and man are of a
strictly commercial nature. Allah is the ideal merchant. He
includes all the universe in his reckoning. All is counted,
everything measured. The book and the balances are his
institution, and h& has made himself the pattern of honest
dealing. Life is a business, for gain or loss. He who does
a good or an evil work ("earns" good or evil), receives~his
pay for it, even in this life. Some debts are forgiven, for
Allah is not a hard creditor. The Muslim makes a loan to
Allah; pays in advance for paradise; sells his own soul to
him, a bargain that prospers. The unbeliever has sold the

divine truth for a paltry price, and is bankrupt. Every soul

is held as security for the debt it has contracted. At the
resurrection, Allah holds a final reckoning with all men.
Their actions are read from the account-book, weighed in
the balances; each is paid his exact due, no one is defrauded.
Believer and unbeliever receive their wages. The Muslim
(who has been given manifold payment for each of his good
deeds) receives moreover his special reward.
A more simply mathematical "body of divinity" than this

is difficult to imagine.
When one remembers that the facts here dealt with,

touching almost every department of life, are expressed

regularly in this form, and, besides this, that they are in
most cases reiterated ad nauseam, the fact of their import-

ance to Mohammed's conception of religion will not be

quesiioned. It is of course the underlying commercial spirit

that is of moment; but these particular words and phrases

are for us the most concrete and striking manifestation of
that spirit. I venture the assertion that no part of the
J Koran theological terminology is more characteristically Ar-

abic, or more deeply imbedded in the whole structure of

the Koran, from beginning to end.

But when this has once been said, there is little more
to say. Any attempt to analyze these expressions in the
hope of finding ideas logically conceived and developed is

doomed to disappointment. We find Mohammed simply repeat-

ing over and over again expressions upon which he had
evidently never bestowed much thought 1
). There is here,

at least, no evidence that any of his theological beliefs in

particular , or his standpoint in general ,

progressed , even in

the slightest degree , during the period of some twenty years

which the Koran represents ).

To say that this is due to the nature of these ideas, is

not quite sufficient. The fact that they were inherited, rather
than invented, by Mohammed, needs also to be taken into
account. It is much to say that if these
hardly claiming too
commercial-theological terms had originated in his own
experiences as a caravan driver, there could hardly fail to

be some sort of a development in their theological use which

we could observe. It has been shown, by citations from
pre-Mohammedan poems, that some of the most characteristic

of these expressions were current among the Arabs in the

"time of ignorance". One better acquainted than I with the
old poems could doubtless produce many more illustrations.

Mohammed was not original. Lack of originality might

almost be called his chief characteristic as compared with
other founders of religious systems. Abstract thinking was
not his forte. The Arabic language and his own native
power of rhetoric were two helpers that always stood him

1) He does not even seem to employ them consciously as figurative expres-

sions, except perhaps at 61:10, and in the passages exhorting to the

2) The decided weakening had nothing

in tone exhibited in the later Suras
to do with any wavering of And
Medina passages show strength
belief. if the
only on the practical side, and seem more worldly and farther from God than
their predecessors, remember that the early Mekkan Suras were still recited.
To this fact of continual re-recitation is also due in part the impression of
a fixed terminology which the Koran makes in so marked a degree.


in good stead, but for theologizing he had little taste and

less capability.

What made him the founder of a new era was not that
-' he was able to provide a philosophical system for the Arab
merchants and marauders, but that he understood his own
people, and knew how to build up what was Arabic, even
with materials obtained from other nations. What little

theology he had, he had inherited or borrowed. Its main

facts had already been formulated for him in the plainest

and most practical terms of a very practical language, and

he received them without asking any questions, and clung
to them most tenaciously.

Occasional notice has already been taken, in the preced-

ing pages, of the influence which the presence of these
trade terms in the Koran has exerted. Here the old, deep-
rooted commercial spirit was given fixed concrete form, and
the Koran was and is the final authority for the Muslim of
whatever race or land. It embodied a system which fitted

the Arab nature as only a system could which had sprung

directly from that nature. v\> 5
*UI is only one of a number
of its propositions of which any variation is mathematically
impossible. The theology of Islam is the simplest and most
logical of all theologies.

How far the words and phrases we have been considering

may have contributed to this result, is a question lying
beyond the limits of this paper. It would be easy to multiply

examples, both in prose and poetry, from Arabic literature,

showing how these very expressions were seized upon and
applied, by Mohammed's followers. Such passages as that
quoted from Beladhuri (under \j}Jfi\ p. 40) are significant.
It goes without saying that many a conscientious camel-
driver would think over these terms until they meant more
to him than they ever did to Mohammed , to say nothing

of the toil and sweat of the xJJf ohi j, q*-a_m*.X.^ ! That

which would remain in the mind of the average Muslim
hearer or reader of the Koran would be the repeated men-

tion of the ^L*.>, the f*>, and the * y>*. The pilgrim
to Mekka is not indulging in a mere figure of speech, but
expressing the most real idea of his "working theology",
when he prays for .yj ^J BLpj >*}*** uoi^ ...xx &&* l

]) Snouck Hurgronje, Mekka, II. 2, note 1.

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